Snow postpones United-Red Bulls playoff match
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) -- The second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls was postponed by snow Wednesday night.
After a delay of about one hour due to the Nor'Easter that blanketed the area with snow, the match was rescheduled for Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.
MLS vice president Nelson Rodriguez made the decision after watching the grounds crew struggle to clear the field.
"The game deserves a better field," Rodriguez said. "Ultimately, the sensation that we could not get ahead of this storm made the decision for us. At halftime, we'd be doing the same thing. The forecast is much better for tomorrow and we'll have field in tip-top share tomorrow."
Before making the final call, Rodriguez said: "The snow is coming down faster than we can get it up. We have to put the safety of the athletes first."
D.C. United coach Ben Olsen wanted to play the game despite the conditions.
"It's soccer, you can play it in any weather," Olsen said before the game. "You can play in snow, rain or whatever. We're ready to play. I don't know if there is any advantage in a game like this."
The series opener was supposed to open here last Saturday, but was switched to Washington because of Superstorm Sandy. The teams played to a 1-1 draw.
With starters Rafa Marquez and Tim Cahill nursing calf injuries, Red Bulls coach Hans Backe wasn't keen on playing a game with snow covering the field.
"No we're not comfortable (playing in these conditions)," Backe said before the game was called. "It should be postponed. It's a conference semifinal, You can't see the lines and players could be injured. This is not football, it's another kind of sport.
"It has to be decent conditions when you play a conference semifinal. It's up to luck under these conditions."